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Flying Pig[_2_] December 13th 09 02:53 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
Hi, y'all,

I've been active on the cruiser's net here in Abaco, and this morning one of
the neighboring boats with a radio and antenna guru aboard called me after
to say that after about a minute of continuous transmission I got faint,
though still very clear. Another station chimed into the conversation to
say they had the same result. The original boat is right next to me, so
distance or atmospheric stuff was not a factor

His opinion was either corrosion in the cable which might have an effect, or
the radio heating up from continuous tx.

As I'm heading back to the states with a pretty big to-do list shortly, for
a month, I could send it off to Uniden for a look.

Wilbur, here, isn't a great fan of this particular radio, citing other
problems which increased over time. Anyone else have this experience with
this or other radios, identified it as something other than the radio, and
have the solution?

My antenna feed for the current installation runs in our bilge, and our
rudder post is currently in need of repacking, sending a constant stream of
water down the bilge/limberholes, where I expect there's at least one
connection. While that and any other connex are professionally done, I
expect some water COULD have penetrated. I'll have a look at that, first,
but would appreciate experienced input.

Thanks, y'all

L8R

Skip, in the Bahamas for another few days before a month ashore

--
Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to
make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
(and)
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hand
(Richard Bach)



Lord Kelvin December 13th 09 03:33 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 

"Flying Pig" wrote in message
...

My antenna feed for the current installation runs in our bilge,



Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe!



Wayne.B December 13th 09 06:44 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:53:52 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

My antenna feed for the current installation runs in our bilge, and our
rudder post is currently in need of repacking, sending a constant stream of
water down the bilge/limberholes, where I expect there's at least one
connection. While that and any other connex are professionally done, I
expect some water COULD have penetrated. I'll have a look at that, first,
but would appreciate experienced input.


IMHO the only wiring of any kind that belongs in the bilge is the
circuit for the bilge pump. Everything else will be much happier in
a dry location, especially if there are connectors involved. Just
about all wiring insulation develops pin hole leaks over time and salt
water intrusion will turn the finest copper into green powder in no
time at all.

I am not a big fan of Uniden electronics, preferring ICOM and Standard
for VHF radios. That said, the first step is to eliminate the
feedline and masthead antenna as possible suspects. Since we are
talking about short range, just about any kind of test antenna will
do, even a stub of wire about 18 inches long. Connect a test antenna
right at the radio and see if the problem recurs. If so you've got a
Uniden problem or a 12 volt power problem. You can eliminate power as
an issue with a voltmeter connected near the radio.


Flying Pig[_2_] December 13th 09 08:14 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
Hi, Wayne, and future viewers.

It should be noted that I have termed the path for the water which comes
from the rudder post down the Vee in the hull, well above any usual bilge,
as the bilge in this case. Any water which could enter the lazarette area
also flows on this path.

So, it's not a standing water situation, and there was no practical route to
get the antenna from the helm to the arch other than that - and, that's
where it was when we got the boat - so, that's where it is, still. It's a
Shakespeare stick so has their pigtail of whatever length it was, then a
connector to the cable to the helm. If it weren't for that, I'd probably
replace that cable at the same time I'm doing the mast one.

I'll try to find someone with a SWR meter here tomorrow morning before we
head out to our anchorage prior to going into the dock where we'll be
leaving Flying Pig, and give it a whirl.

I also have the little cable and the mast-top antenna which proved the cable
at fault in the original explorations; it will be easy for me to get a boat
buddy to listen while I read some story or something on a remote channel and
see if that cured it. That shortie, BTW, is LMR400, so should be fine for
the test. I don't expect it's got much in the way of SWR issues :{))

As to sagging power, with an 880AH bank, I doubt that's a problem, BICBW
:{)) That said, this radio has, regardless of source, often given a "low
battery" display long before I'd have expected it in terms of the "ambient"
(under load) voltage, and without transmission, so perhaps that's a radio
issue...

L8R

Skip

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at www.justpickone.org/skip/gallery !
Follow us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFlyingPigLog
and/or http://groups.google.com/group/flyingpiglog

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to
make it come true. You may have to work for it however."
(and)
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in
its hand
(Richard Bach)



Peter Bennett December 13th 09 08:57 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 09:53:52 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

Hi, y'all,

I've been active on the cruiser's net here in Abaco, and this morning one of
the neighboring boats with a radio and antenna guru aboard called me after
to say that after about a minute of continuous transmission I got faint,
though still very clear. Another station chimed into the conversation to
say they had the same result. The original boat is right next to me, so
distance or atmospheric stuff was not a factor


If the volume drops, but the signal remains clear ("full quieting"),
then the problem is in the radio - in the microphone amplifier or
modulator. An antenna or coax problem would result in reduced signal
strength, which would cause the received signal to become noisy, but
would not affect the volume.


My antenna feed for the current installation runs in our bilge, and our
rudder post is currently in need of repacking, sending a constant stream of
water down the bilge/limberholes, where I expect there's at least one
connection. While that and any other connex are professionally done, I
expect some water COULD have penetrated. I'll have a look at that, first,
but would appreciate experienced input.


As another poster said, running cables in the bilge is a Seriously Bad
Idea. Although the reported problem doesn't implicate the cable, I'd
still like to get the cable out of the bilge, and well clear of any
possibility of continuous contact with water.



--
Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
peterbb4 (at) interchange.ubc.ca
GPS and NMEA info: http://vancouver-webpages.com/peter
Vancouver Power Squadron: http://vancouver.powersquadron.ca

Wayne.B December 14th 09 04:48 AM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:14:31 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

I'll try to find someone with a SWR meter here tomorrow morning before we
head out to our anchorage prior to going into the dock where we'll be
leaving Flying Pig, and give it a whirl.

One of the quirks of waterlogged coax is that it can exhibit a perfect
1:1 SWR ratio while transmitting little or no power because the signal
loss is so high that nothing gets reflected back to the SWR meter.

I also have the little cable and the mast-top antenna which proved the cable
at fault in the original explorations; it will be easy for me to get a boat
buddy to listen while I read some story or something on a remote channel and
see if that cured it. That shortie, BTW, is LMR400, so should be fine for
the test. I don't expect it's got much in the way of SWR issues :{))


OK

As to sagging power, with an 880AH bank, I doubt that's a problem,


Agreed but you could have a bad connection which is heating up under
load.


cavelamb December 14th 09 05:24 AM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
Wayne.B wrote:
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:14:31 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

I'll try to find someone with a SWR meter here tomorrow morning before we
head out to our anchorage prior to going into the dock where we'll be
leaving Flying Pig, and give it a whirl.

One of the quirks of waterlogged coax is that it can exhibit a perfect
1:1 SWR ratio while transmitting little or no power because the signal
loss is so high that nothing gets reflected back to the SWR meter.

I also have the little cable and the mast-top antenna which proved the cable
at fault in the original explorations; it will be easy for me to get a boat
buddy to listen while I read some story or something on a remote channel and
see if that cured it. That shortie, BTW, is LMR400, so should be fine for
the test. I don't expect it's got much in the way of SWR issues :{))


OK

As to sagging power, with an 880AH bank, I doubt that's a problem,


Agreed but you could have a bad connection which is heating up under
load.



What Wayne said...

From what I've seen of "professional" work (unless you did it yourself and
know), it would be worth checking.

[email protected] December 14th 09 11:00 AM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 23:48:25 -0500, Wayne.B
wrote:

On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:14:31 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

I'll try to find someone with a SWR meter here tomorrow morning before we
head out to our anchorage prior to going into the dock where we'll be
leaving Flying Pig, and give it a whirl.

One of the quirks of waterlogged coax is that it can exhibit a perfect
1:1 SWR ratio while transmitting little or no power because the signal
loss is so high that nothing gets reflected back to the SWR meter.

I also have the little cable and the mast-top antenna which proved the cable
at fault in the original explorations; it will be easy for me to get a boat
buddy to listen while I read some story or something on a remote channel and
see if that cured it. That shortie, BTW, is LMR400, so should be fine for
the test. I don't expect it's got much in the way of SWR issues :{))


OK

As to sagging power, with an 880AH bank, I doubt that's a problem,


Agreed but you could have a bad connection which is heating up under
load.


Accurate SWR measurements also require clear dry conditions. An
overcast day will affect the readings.


Wilbur Hubbard December 14th 09 02:12 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
"Wayne.B" wrote in message
...

Agreed but you could have a bad connection which is heating up under
load.



BINGO! They use one of those crap, 'slow burn' fuses. They heat up and the
extra impedance reduces the voltage. Get rid of it and put a higher amperage
rated, fast burn fuse in - end of problem.

Wilbur Hubbard



Goofball_star_dot_etal December 14th 09 03:15 PM

Uniden 525 VHF and general question
 
On 14/12/2009 11:00, wrote:
On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 23:48:25 -0500, Wayne.B
wrote:

On Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:14:31 -0500, "Flying Pig"
wrote:

I'll try to find someone with a SWR meter here tomorrow morning before we
head out to our anchorage prior to going into the dock where we'll be
leaving Flying Pig, and give it a whirl.

One of the quirks of waterlogged coax is that it can exhibit a perfect
1:1 SWR ratio while transmitting little or no power because the signal
loss is so high that nothing gets reflected back to the SWR meter.

I also have the little cable and the mast-top antenna which proved the cable
at fault in the original explorations; it will be easy for me to get a boat
buddy to listen while I read some story or something on a remote channel and
see if that cured it. That shortie, BTW, is LMR400, so should be fine for
the test. I don't expect it's got much in the way of SWR issues :{))


OK

As to sagging power, with an 880AH bank, I doubt that's a problem,


Agreed but you could have a bad connection which is heating up under
load.


Accurate SWR measurements also require clear dry conditions. An
overcast day will affect the readings.


Probably a Ham's old wives' tale. Your average VSWR meter is not very
accurate, although still quite useful. This leads to all sorts of BS.
The device I use cost more than my boat..


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